…Looking back to look forward for Namibia’s financial services provider
FOUNDED in 1918, Sanlam has evolved over the years from a traditional life insurance company to a broad-based diversified financial services provider that specialises in insurance (life and general), financial planning, retirement, investments and wealth. As the firm turns 100, Confidente’s Hilary Mare (HM) spoke to Sanlam Namibia’s general manager for public and corporate support, Evans Simataa (ES) to get more insights regarding the anniversary.
HM: A century of years remains a great milestone, what does this mean for Sanlam?
ES: This means a great deal to us. Not many companies live to see 100 years or even go beyond that. This means we have been doing the right things to our different stakeholders and providing an essential service to our clients and we will continue doing so.
HM: On your path to this milestone, what are some of the highlights in the years leading up to 100 years?
ES: As a Group, Sanlam has had many highlights. Locally in Namibia, the company has achieved a lot making it one of the most firmly rooted long-term insurance companies and financial services company currently operating in the country. Ever since it first made its presence known in the then protectorate of South West Africa in 1928, a mere ten years after the company had been founded in South Africa, Sanlam has made strong and positive contribution to Namibia. Sanlam Namibia has grown from a mere branch office of the South African mother company to an independent, fully-fledged Namibian life insurance company. It is at present well represented in most geographical areas of Namibia with branch offices in Windhoek, Otjiwarongo, Gobabis, Tsumeb, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Mariental, Keetmanshoop, Outapi, Oshakati and Rundu.
Sanlam in Namibia has been second to none in the spheres of Namibianisation. In its drive to strengthen its position as a truly Namibian company, Sanlam Namibia has boldly undertaken major and ambitious Namibianisation initiatives and actions.
HM: How are you going to celebrate this milestone with your clients?
ES: We have a special event planned for our stakeholders on 19 June 2018. On 8 June we also celebrated by having a parade through the city centre, where some of our clients joined us. We also, on the same day, had gifts for all our clients that visited our offices country wide.
HM: What would you say have been the challenges for Sanlam Namibia in this journey?
ES: I think like any other company, we have been affected by economic factors. We are in one of the riskiest businesses so we were bound to have some hiccups along the way.
HM: Going forward, what do you look forward to?
ES: Sanlam believes in doing things that lasts for generations to come. While our centenary gives us an opportunity to acknowledge our past, the focus will be always on the future and leaving the world a better place for the next generation. The company look forward to more engagement with its stakeholders being the shareholders, clients, employees and supplier and ensuring that its relationships with all these stakeholders adds value to them. The company looks forward to loyal clients and employees who in turn will lead to more business, better client service and definitely more involvement in our society
HM: What gives you a competitive edge over your competitors in the Namibian market?
ES: We have some of the best products in the market that cater to the needs of different individuals and different circumstances. It’s important to understand that our clients are different. This better informs us for development of new products.
HM: Any product innovations in the pipeline?
ES: Yes, we plan on launching a new product and product enhancements soon. Follow our social media pages (Sanlam Namibia) for updates.
HM: Would you like to add anything else?
ES: We would like to thank our loyal clients for choosing Sanlam. We would also like to thank our incredible staff members for all their hard work. It really is a team effort.
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